We have three paramedic assessment units (PAU), which are manned by a captain, an engineer, and a firefighter/paramedic, and we have one paramedic engine company with four personnel. All offer advanced life support.
Each engine is equipped with a 1,500-gallon-per-minute, mid-ship mounted pump and carries 500 gallons of water. In addition, our engines also carry over 3,000 feet of hose, 48 feet of ground ladders, a wide array of advanced life support and basic life support medical supplies, several medications (including drug therapy for cardiac-related emergencies, and other equipment for a variety of unpredictable emergency calls.
This team responds to medical emergencies Code 3 (lights and sirens) for a timely pre-hospital assessment and treatment.
Each engine has a captain (supervisor and safety officer), an engineer (driver/operator), and one or two paramedic/firefighters depending on location. The three or four personnel on each engine work together for efficient emergency services and a comprehensive response team. Because the engine responds to a wide array of variable incidents, a rescue ambulance is often times dispatched along with the engine in order to provide the personnel needed to accomplish several tasks. Once both teams arrive they are able to provide accountability and thorough work since the teams can be broken down and skills, knowledge, and experience can be shared.
One example of this is a structure fire response where the engineer may remain at the pump panel, while the captain is the safety officer while one firefighter from the engine is pulling hose lines and the two firefighter/paramedics from the rescue ambulance can be assigned according to needs and priorities of the incident.
Another example is a critical medical aid such as a cardiac arrest call where the captain is either talking to family members to obtain critical information or providing a safe environment for the team to work, the engineer is assisting the firefighter/paramedics with patient care, the firefighter from the engine (who may be a paramedic) is performing chest compression's, and the two firefighter/paramedics from the rescue ambulance are starting IV’s, defibrillating, intubating, giving life-saving medication, and documenting all treatment while talking to a nurse or physician at a local hospital.